Arsenal’s failure to qualify for the Champions League has affected the side in many ways. Three consecutive seasons in the Europa League means the Emirates is no longer an attractive destination for world-class talent.
Reports have suggested that Unai Emery has a meagre £45 million to spend this summer and that is simply not enough for the Gunners to build a side capable of challenging the top four.
Nevertheless, Arsenal have identified their targets and are working on a deal to bring William Saliba to the Emirates. The French teenager is expected to cost upwards of £30 million and is expected to stay at St. Etienne for another season on loan.
The Gunners are also looking to bring in a full-back and a winger, with Celtic’s Kieran Tierney and Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha the preferred options.
The Gunners are also reportedly interested in signing Lucas Vazquez from Real Madrid. The industrious winger is clearly surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu due to the arrival of Eden Hazard from Chelsea.
The Spaniard has some attributes the Gunners need at the moment, however, he is far from the ideal fit. Here are three reasons why the 28-year-old might not be needed at the Emirates.
#1 Limited playing time for young guns
With a measly return of 1 goal and 3 assists in 31 LaLiga games last season, Vazquez’s output isn’t anything to write home about and will not generate any sort of excitement among the Gunners’ faithful.
The winger’s offensive output pales in comparison to the likes of Alex Iwobi (3 goals and 7 assists) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (6 goals and 4 assists).
Arsenal’s academy stars such as Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, on the other hand, have generated a great deal of excitement in recent times with some fantastic displays. Nelson, in particular, has returned to the Arsenal squad after a spectacular loan spell at Hoffenheim and could earn a starting berth this season.
Signing Vazquez, however, would greatly reduce the playing time for these young guns, which isn’t the ideal scenario for the Gunners.
#2 Limited finances
Arsenal’s transfer budget is rumoured to be £45 million which isn’t going to help the Gunners’ cause.
The North London club are in the market for a new centre-back, left-back and winger, and spending upwards of £30 million on Vazquez does not make much sense.
#3 Better options in the market
Is Vazquez the best available option at the moment? The Gunners are reportedly interested in both Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace and Ryan Fraser of Bournemouth.
Although Zaha is likely to cost around £80 million, he is a genuine winger with the ability to impact games on his own. Whether or not Arsenal can afford him is another matter altogether.
Ryan Fraser, who will be available for around £25 million, had his most productive season in the Premier League in 2018/19, scoring seven goals and providing 14 assists.
Another option for the Gunners is Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech, who is reportedly available for £25 million. Signing one of these players make more sense than shelling out a bulk of their transfer budget on the Real Madrid star.